The Batterie de Cuisine–Sean’s Kitchen

DSC_8112_resizeThis is the second of three posts on Sean Sullivan's East Hampton kitchen, author of the spectacular blog, Spectacularly Delicious and Associate Publisher of House Beautiful Magazine. Sean's blog is filled with beautiful images and fresh adaptations of his favorite recipes. The imagery is as delicious as the recipes. Enthusiasm? You’ll find gallons, lbs, and any other measurement you can think of!DSC_8094

I wanted to find out from Sean about his cooking equipment, after I poked into his cabinets and doors. I’m glad I asked! Following is a comprehensive list of essential equipment for Sean, probably one of the most complete lists, with sources and tips attached, that one can find anywhere, I’ll bet. In Sean’s words…


DSC_8104_resize So of course I have all the basics (pots, pans, Le Creuset, All-Clad, non-stick saute pans, cast iron skillet, good knife set, Kitchen Aid stand mixer, an exceptional food processor from Braun that has three bowls: standard processor bowl/functions, another bowl with mixing wisks and bread hook and a blender jar with ice crusher, plus a regular blender, hand mixer, salad spinner, basket with handle for cutting herbs).

The next “level” of tools I like and use include:

- cherry pitter
-- vertical roaster: fave kichen tools 002_resize
-- plenty of mis en place bowls
-- plenty of spatulas, all sizes
-- foley food mill
-- trays (baking and for carrying stuff around)
-- immersion blender
-- Large rolling pin (normal ones are too small)
-- a good serrated bread knife
-- lots of Large mixing bowls
-- electric ice cream maker
-- heavy shallow pans for roasting vegetables (I have Dansk, shallow cast enamel works well too. Needs to be shallow so steam doesn't accumulate)
-- ceramic ginger grater
-- microwave cooking vessels (usually glass w/plastic lids). I use the micro to cook all the time - melt butter, chocolate, boil a cup of water. Also PERFECT poached salmon -- just 3-5 minutes in a covered micro cooking dish.
-- fave kichen tools 006_resizemouli grater
-- microplane grater
-- electric juicer (mine is Braun) plus hand w/sieves. Don't go in for reamers since don't like seeds. If I squeeze a lemon directly into a dish I use a sieve
-- large copper confiture pan (a luxury but so beautiful!)
-- paella pans in various sizes -- to serve 4, 8 and even have a Nambe giant that can feed a crowd
-- complete canning set (jelly bag and stand, tongs, magnetic lid lifter, funnels in appropriate sizes for different jars, a ladle that holds a whole cup)
-- food processors
-- pressure cookers (regular and for pressure canning too)
-- sushi set (wood bowl for tossing rice, rice paddle, bamboo rolling mat, then all the serving pieces too)
-- mandolin
-- fave kichen tools 009_resizein the larder: specialty salts (Black Hawaiian, Pink Himalayan, sel de mer) and flavored salts (saffron, smoked), candied violets and rose petals
-- complete cake decorating set (thank you Martha!)
-- 8 cup measuring cup
-- single serve espresso pot (this one takes 3 mins. A pop of pep in a snap)
-- shrimp deveiner (long red and pointy plastic)
-- mini madeleine tins (savory appetizers and sweet meal enders)
-- tartelette pans
-- a few pairs of scissors. I use them all the time. snip chives and scallions. attack a bowl of salad greens. There are so many things that are easier done using scissors rather than a knife
-- mango slicer:
-- corn cutter:
-- cornichon slicer (works for strawberry fans too)
-- spaetzle sieve/grater:
-- provoletta pan: fave kichen tools 013_resize
-- instant read thermometer
-- clip on candy/frying thermometer
-- cookie dough scoop
-- twine
-- lots of cutting boards
-- ceramic pop over cups
-- copper souffle pan
-- Pyrex portables (carrying cases that have heating or cooling pads inside for taking foods to parties or the beach)
-- you can never have too many dish towels and aprons and hot mitts (I do not like the silicone ones)
-- jumbo colander
-- Nambe: beautiful from oven to table and a frequent yard sale find since so few know their value
-- fave kichen tools 015_resizestands to create centerpieces:
-- perfectly flat cake plate (cannot have sloped sides)
-- Tip: never pour out left-over wine.  Freeze in 1 c. containers for future cooking use.
-- wok
-- butter boat that sits in a water liner so butter is always room temp/spreadable
-- non-stick baking mats
-- dough scraper (the thing you use to scoop wet dough off the counter or cutting board
-- pastry blender
-- assorted small cookie cutters in unusual shapes to make clever croutons and tiny cookies


And attaching pics of other things that are totally necessary for their tasks: 
-- copper caramelizing pan
-- truffle slicer (maybe only once a year but nothing else will do)
-- aebelskiver pan (a specailty for weekend guests:
-- good electronic scale
-- a GOOD pepper mill. This one is by Unicorn. Holds a ton of pepper corns, have had it for years, durable, and was rated #1 years back by Good Housekeeping
-- strawberry huller (Stem Gem), good citrus zester with the canel channel cutter on the side, clam knife, oyster knife (NOT interchangeable), poultry shears,
-- grease splatter shield for frying

FYI, Here's how I'd rank these tools in order of importance:
Cherry pitter -- a game changer
Spaetzle maker - no other way to get such perfect results
Corn cutter -- even if you're not canning, why each fresh summer corn off the cob like a sow in a sty? Cut the kernels off the cob first, saute in butter and live like a king!
Mango cutter -- not gonna use it so often (unless you have a mango tree in your yard, or have friends (as I do) who have and send you boxes at a time
Strawberry fan thing -- a bit precious but fun

I think at this time of year it’s a whole lot of fun to become acquainted with new tools that make life easier, and more fun, in the kitchen. It’s not a bad holiday gift list either! SO…inspired?? Ready to make those holiday treats and have fun at the same time? You’ll need a centerpiece too! Here’s a great video from Sean:

You need to follow Sean at Spectacularly Delicious for all things yummy, informative, and elegant! Last of three parts….the details of Sean’s kitchen - coming soon. What are your favorite kitchen tools or equipment? I’m tossed between a grill pan and a good, powerful, blender.